Tribunal rejects Peter Mbah’s appeal to stroke out NYSC certificate forgery charge

Attorneys for Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah asked the Enugu State Election Petition Tribunal to dismiss a petition that sought to disqualify him due to the scandal surrounding the fake National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) certificate. However, the tribunal rejected their motion.

Chief Chris Agu, the Peoples Redemption Party candidate for the March 18 poll, had brought Mbah before the tribunal and demanded that the PDP candidate be disqualified for giving a fake NYSC certificate to INEC before of the election. Agu is requesting, among other things, to be proclaimed the winner of the election on the grounds that he received the majority of the legal votes cast.

After considering the arguments made by both sides, the tribunal’s chairman, Kudirat Akano, decided that the move to dismiss the case was premature because certificate counterfeiting was such a serious problem. She also decided that any opposition to the petition should be made at the conclusion of the trial, when the tribunal would make a final determination regarding the legality of their demand.

Speaking after the hearing on Friday, Chief Agu’s attorney, Barr Alex Amujiogu, stated that while attorneys had exchanged pretrial papers, there were still some documents that both counsels had not yet had a chance to review.

“We also proposed in our individual capacities on how we intend the attorneys to proceed with the case so that at the conclusion of the day, the tribunal will issue a pretrial report on how the parties are to present and conclude their cases,” he continued. The fact that some papers that the responses alluded to but were not front-loaded are the only problem that is now in the pretrial.

“The tribunal, in its wisdom, is requesting that the attorneys meet to make sure that all documents required to be submitted at trial are under the control of other attorneys. The case was postponed until June 14 so that the pretrial phase could be completed and the tribunal may give a report or directive on how the trial should begin.

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